China Rejects US, Australian Concerns About Beijing's Role in World Affairs

The Chinese government has rejected U.S. and Australian concerns about China's role in world affairs. Washington has also questioned Beijing's intentions over a lack of transparency in China's military build-up, a concern that Beijing rejects.

The Chinese government brushed off calls from the United States and Australia for China to behave more responsibly in world affairs.

In a policy statement called "National Security Strategy" the White House on Thursday said China could not maintain a peaceful path to development if political reforms do not come soon. The document also criticizes China for trying to "lock up" energy supplies around the world and trying to control its markets instead of opening them up.

At a regular news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang rejected the criticism.

He says China is devoted to world peace and promoting mutual development among all nations, and is a responsible country.

Thursday in Australia, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer expressed concern that China as an emerging power needed to understand its responsibilities. They urged Beijing to be more open in its economy and its dealings with other countries.

Rice also said that Beijing is not being transparent about military spending and its purpose.

China this year again increased its military spending by double digits, raising concerns about Beijing's military strategy.

Some experts say China's real military spending could be three times higher than published figures.

However, Qin rejected accusations the government is hiding military spending and said China regularly publishes white papers on defense.

The spokesman says China's military spending is completely transparent, and that his government hopes all countries look at the issue objectively.

China says the increased spending is needed to modernize its large military and to improve the lives of soldiers.